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Tackling Unemployment – Is Higher Education Helping?

COVID has created immense problems for young people looking for jobs. The crisis has been exacerbated by a crisis of higher education. Research shows that many graduates remain unemployed for a year or more. Graduate unemployment remains particularly high in South Africa. The 2019 Q1 figures from Statistics South Africa put the graduate unemployment rate at 31%. Research into graduate work readiness has shown that there is a gap between what universities and other institutes of higher education produce and what employers want. New proposals point to “work-integrated learning” whereby the learning process depends on collaboration between the student, a host organisation/mentor (which could be the potential employer) and higher education institutions. This should help develop skills that are specific to an industry.

In other cases private individuals and organizations have taken the responsibility to cushion the effect of unemployment by creating substantial solutions, for example Jobberman, the single largest job placement website in sub-Saharan Africa, provides training and placement for job seekers, as well as the best selection of candidates for hiring companies. The portal is used by both local and multinational companies to advertise job openings and find the right people.

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Alastair Tempest


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